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MCCC Ad Design Students Praised for Their Campaign Designs for Animal Shelter


West Windsor, N.J. – MCCC’s advanced Advertising Design students put their skills to work for the county’s four-legged friends in their final project of the semester.

Culminating what they have studied at Mercer, students created marketing campaigns for an event to be hosted by the Trenton Animal Shelter, which they “pitched” to their professors and representatives of the organization in May.

Seven groups of students worked on campaigns for the shelter’s upcoming fundraiser, the 2nd Annual Furry Feet Fete, to be held at the Trenton Marriott Downtown on November 16.  They were judged on various components of the campaign, such as branding, slogan, advertisements, newsletter and Facebook page design, and promotional items.

Members of the winning team were Mei-Li Wu, Tony Watson, Dana Toff and Bonnie Kotnarowski. The group’s slogan, “Furry Feet Fete for Furry Family Friends” cleverly plays on "F" words.  The team’s logo, a yellow circle with the silhouette of a cat and dog inside it, reinforced the serious issue of abandoned animals in need of homes.

Before beginning their projects, students were introduced to the nonprofit’s mission and its November fundraising event during a presentation by Trenton Animal Shelter’s Wendy Sturgeon. “When you were telling us about how many animals get put to sleep, a lot of us had tears in our eyes,” Wu said. 

She added that her group decided guilt-stricken advertising often makes people shy away, which is why they tried to make their presentation lighter and more positive.

Pictured seated are MCCC student winners for the best ad design presentation to Trenton Animal Shelter, from left: Tony Watson, Dana Toff, Mei-Li Wu, and Bonnie Kotnarowski.  Pictured in back row, from left, are judges Susan Stradling, Trenton Police Officer Michael Lucchesi, Wendy Sturgeon (Trenton Animal Shelter), Nicole Coleman (arts advocate), Matthew Coleman (photographer), Trenton Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson, and MCCC President Patricia Donohue.

Seven groups of MCCC students made presentations to various members of the Mercer County community, including a representative from the Trenton Animal Shelter.

The judges praised the winning group’s giveaway items, which included lint rollers and pet waste clean up bags embellished with the team’s logo creation. “Your promotional items were genius,” said Sturgeon, adding that the practicality and everyday use of the items were well thought out.  “I felt like I was in an advertising board room when you presented,” she added, noting the professionalism behind the presentation.

According to Trenton Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson, a major advocate for the shelter who served as one of the judges, the group’s presentation was “amazing and very articulate.”

Another design team was commended for its creative approach.  With a slogan that read “Canine Cool – Feline Fun – Adopt One!”, the design featured cats and dogs dressed for a party, with bright colors that reflected a Mardi Gras theme.  “Your design is amazing and absolutely beautiful,” Caldwell-Wilson said.

According to student Karen Lubeski, “Our focus was to try to get people to come out to the event by focusing on the fun of the night, dressing the dogs and cats for a night out on the town.  Rather than play on sympathy, we wanted to make it more upbeat.”

Another student, Cesar Patino, thanked his Advertising Design Professor Tina LaPlaca, as well as the judges, for their honest and constructive criticism of their work.  “Everything you said to us today will help make us better in our work,” Patino said.

Caldwell-Wilson told students how appreciative she was of their hard work and professionalism.  “I feel like I’m in the presence of extraordinary talents here,” she said, adding that she would love to have students attend the organization’s November 16 fundraising event, which will feature special guest Cesar Millan from the popular television show “Dog Whisperer.”

MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue stopped by to congratulate students on a job well done.  “I look forward to this event every year,” she said, adding that she believes the Mercer ad design students are among the best and brightest.
Read more about MCCC's Advertising and Graphic Design program here.

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